App of the Week: NuOffer

App of the Week: NuOffer

NuOfferUntil recently, the world of real estate hadn’t caught up to the digital age. For real estate agents, drafting up contracts is the dreaded part of the job, while for buyers, the market is a big black hole. To address this problem, programmer and designer Kevin Hincker partnered with veteran real estate agent Imraan Ali, to drastically simplify the real estate market and bring it to the digital world. The duo turned to Corona SDK to develop NuOffer, a new business app currently being piloted in Texas. Imraan and Kevin brought on product development specialist Bryan Ingram, who was working with Google at the time, to lead marketing and product development for the company.

NuOffer digitizes paperwork that normally keeps agents chained to their desks for hours each day. By quickly creating customized offer letters, NuOffer lets agents sign forms digitally and send them to buyers for review and approval. Kevin told me that manually drafting just one offer can take an hour, while NuOffer cuts this down to just 3 minutes. The app frees up time for agents to focus on networking with new clients and meeting the needs of existing buyers instead of filling out a mountain of paperwork. Selecting from a large inventory of properties, both buyers and agents can also select their “favorite” homes and schedule viewings – another way for both parties to stay active and organized.

Nice!In addition to the digital housing inventory, buyers reap more benefits. Buyers can sign documents from anywhere in the world – from the comfort of their home, or while vacationing in Greece – with an internet connection. Not only does this apply to the initial negotiation letter, but also to counter offers, inspections and other documents associated with home purchase.

The service gives buyers an organized way to keep track of all the documents, starting at initial home purchase to inspections to upgrades. NuOffer also alerts buyers when an inspection occurs, when escrow paperwork comes in, updates them on the status of a loan application, schedules housing check-ups and more.

NuOffer screenshotWhen asked why the team picked Corona SDK to develop the app, Hincker spoke of Corona’s rapid speed of development, the simplicity of the Lua language, and the ability to iterate quickly and build to the specs of the project in a fraction of the time. Kevin noted that Corona minimized the project’s opportunity cost and allowed his team to quickly launch to the App Store.

The app currently features 80,000 Texas properties with plans to expand by the end of the year. The agent subscription fee is $15 a month and will soon roll out a marketplace where vendors such as contractors, landscapers, plumbers and other accredited professionals will be available for hire. If you’re an agent in the Texas area, join the pilot program and download NuOffer from the App Store. To stay up to date on new service areas throughout the country, check NuOffer’s site.

  • BenM
    Posted at 16:27h, 29 July

    No Android version seems a bit short sighted for a utility, given it is a no brainer to do with Corona. Yes, it is a pilot, but no mention of an impending Android version would lead people to believe there is none planned. Perhaps an opportunity for someone else to develop?

  • Chris Russell
    Posted at 11:14h, 01 August

    @BenM, I disagree. If it’s a first app, I think it makes total sense to choose one platform and roll with it. The whole procedure of design > development > rollout can be overwhelming and reducing the risk is IMHO a sensible step.

    Given the ease with which it’s possible to compile the code for Android it makes expansion easy, the question is, if these guys have done their research, maybe it’s shown them the market is massively skewed in favour of the Apple platform in which case there’s no rush for an Android version..

  • Kevin
    Posted at 11:52h, 01 August

    Hey Chris, you’re right–and “massively skewed” is an understatement. We’ve interacted with thousands of agents and have only spoken to a handful who were interested in seeing an Android version. We think that this is because tablets in this industry are not a commodity but a lifestyle statement.

    Agents are highly sensitive to anything which effects perception of themselves as a brand. In a funny way, the cost effective nature of devices in the Android space actually negatively effects that technology in regards to agent adoption. Agents wear expensive clothes, drive expensive cars and want to use expensive tablets.

    The size of our team right now means we have to carefully balance risk / reward. We’ll totally get to Android when we have the resources to support those customer calls. Corona makes cross platform mobile development super easy, but so far they are not helping on cross platform customer support 🙂

    • Raga
      Posted at 00:18h, 23 August

      Kevin was the app totally developed in corona? Any native objC snippets there… Having seen only Games here – Was surprised to see MLS injest, SMS text to unlock the signature blocks etc… Was the whole app done in corona? For SMS did u have to use a telephony provider like twillio?
      Would love to hear about the tech stack used…